[eDebate] Bueller.... bueller....

Eli Brennan elibrennan
Wed Apr 4 18:08:46 CDT 2007

Let me take a crack at this:

I wish i had had a chance to research Milliken from a policy perspective.  I
did some work vs critical versions... but that research is useful maybe in
other ways.

But I took a look at the caselist to see what I could find.   Here's my
impression of what it says about Andy's Challenge.

1.  Overturning Milliken might be a good place to start.  I know at Broken
Arrow High, outside of Tulsa, there were very few minority students to
recruit for the debate team.  I don't honestly know how hard anybody was
trying (this is an honest knowledge gap- not a hidden assertion)... but If I
were coaching there, it would be a real challenge just because a small
percentage of ANY demographic want to spend their weekends with us.   A lot
of minority students were going to school on the "north side" where the
schools were less supportive of debate (resources being a key reason, i
would guess).  Certainly the debate coach must still do their job... and the
community would do well to make itself an inviting place to be... but if
it's a matter just not having access to debate early, here I suspect that
legal action of just the sort Andy saw debated may be helpful. [though not
having judged/traveled- i'd rather hear from someone who ran the aff]

2.  There may be an context problem.  Saying that the law is crucial in area
X needn't imply it is the best path in area Y.  Obvie.   My guess is that
the debate community's problems with diversity have something to do with the
legacy of segregation (hence #1), and something to do with our culture,
habits, and outreach efforts.   The tort angle seems forced.   It could be
that there's some illegal aspect to the habits of our institutions, but I
don't think anybody has ever argued that to me.  I'd certainly be open to
the idea.   Sexual harassment, I think, may have something to do with why we
don't have as many women in debate as would seem healthy... and if there
were legal change that would make it easier to attack that problem (i'm
cautious about my view here), I'd likely be for it.

Anywho... that's my attempt to Answer the Challenge without personal attack.
I bet many would have bet against me in this effort.
And at you I smile.

eli brennan
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